Lindsey Treffry, Inland360.com
Jaymee Laws has been painting women for 20 years, not only because
she says they are the perfect vehicle to convey emotion, but because of
circumstances in her own life.
“And also because we live in a misogynistic culture and women are
really important,” Laws said. “I was always interested in feminism and
women’s history. I have four daughters, and so just women, in general,
are in my life.”
Laws will show nine paintings of women, two mixed media paintings and four mosaic pieces as part of Lewiston’s Downtown Art Walk at the Blue Lantern Coffee House and Wine Bar.
“The women themselves are painted in a realistic style with
surrealistic surroundings,” Laws said. “I incorporate a lot of natural
elements. For instance, I do a lot with water or birds or trees, and
also dream-like qualities.”
Her piece “Amphitrite” depicts the wife of Poseidon, octopus-like, and full of strength, beauty and mystery, she said.
“That used to be pretty much all I did — was paint women — and I do
mosaic on the side, but now I’m trying to blend them together,” Laws
Laws recently has incorporated mosaic and stained glass, as well as wood pieces, into her work. Some pieces are solely mosaic.
Laws spends a chunk of her time on a 110-year-old, third-generation
home where she, her children and husband reside. A stone mosaic floor in
the dining room resembles a rug, while a floral mosaic covers the
“Little by little, I just am making the entire house into an art
project,” Laws said. “I’m making something everyday. That’s a huge part
of my life … Even if I’m not painting paintings, I’m doing something
Laws’ artwork has spilled outside the house onto the garage.
While Laws spends a lot of time doing art near home, she does have to be realistic with how her time is spent.
“Art is something that I have to do to be whole. It’s part of my soul
just to make things,” Laws said. “But it’s also had to take a backseat
Laws said her children are demanding, but in a good way. Luckily,
Laws said, her husband Jim — a drummer in the band 7 Devils — helps her
go with the flow and is there to support the family.
“I find it pretty amazing how (Laws) finds the time to still be
creative and produce so much beautiful artwork,” said Blue Lantern owner
Dawn Abbott, who has helped set up the exhibit.
Laws has little time to actively sell her pieces, but said the Art
Walk pieces will be for sale, ranging from $75 to $500, depending on
“I love that we’re having an Art Walk. And I love the increase in art
and interest in art that’s happening in this Valley,” Laws said. “I
grew up here, and I did move away for a while, and I moved back. It’s
something that I always wanted to see here. The draw of a bigger city is
the cultural aspect of it and the appreciation for more enlightened
interests. It’s really exciting to see that here.”
As seen in the Sept. 19 issue of Inland 360.